My interview & review of Betwixt by Melissa Pearl
Thankyou for joining us today Melissa,
Betwixt is a little different from my usual reads, I am just curious, Where did your inspiration come from for this book?
It was actually inspired by a movie I saw years ago - Invisible. I loved the premise and the whole idea, but I was disappointed with the execution. I pushed the idea of writing a similar story aside, because I didn't want to copy what already existed, but about a year ago the story kept plaguing me. I let myself play with it for a while and a whole new story emerged. It became quite different to the movie, so I decided to turn it into a book of my own. I'm really happy with how it turned out in the end :)
Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
No - I need silence while I'm writing. I find music distracts me too much. When I'm coming up with scenes - out walking or at home on my own - I find instrumental movie music can really stir emotions within me. It can help me visualize an action sequence or pull out the emotion I need for a particular scene. So I guess I do listen to music while I create, but not while I write :)
Oh - Taylor Swift can always get my imagination moving too. Man I love her stuff!!
What would you recommend to someone who likes to listen to music while reading Betwixt?
Hmmmm - good question. The story's a little melancholy in parts so I guess songs that make you want to cry.
There's one that I was listening to the other day, which totally made me think of Betwixt.
It's called "I Need You To Love Me" by Barlow Girl. To me it totally captured where Nicole is at in her life. It was fun listening to it in the context of my story.
What kind of things would we find on your browsing history right now?
Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Indies Unlimited.
These are the sites I check each day.
I am a little addicted to checking for new reviews. I know you're not really supposed to read reviews of your books, but I just love to hear what people think about my stuff. Even the bad reviews can be helpful sometimes. I've read a few bad ones and thought, "Good point. I must watch for that in my next book."
Also - it totally makes my day when I read that someone has enjoyed one of my books. Makes all my time and effort worth it :)
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Dipping marshmallows in nutella and eating my little heart out while watching TV shows about cops - I love Castle, Numbers, Rookie Blue... all those kinds of investigative shows.
What do you do to relax after finishing a book?
Because I'm a full time mother and I'm trying to squish writing into every spare moment I have, I don't usually take any breaks after finishing a book, I just launch straight into my next one.
I am a little worried about burn out though, so am planning on slowing down a touch when my youngest starts kindy. He will be starting with one morning a week soon and I'm actually planning on fitting in some non-writing me time into my life.
If an aspiring writer asked for advice what would you tell them?
Study the craft of writing. I have learned SO much and improved SO much as a writer by taking the time to do an on-line course and reading a bunch of great books on writing well. It's totally worth it. I want my readers to trust me. If I'm to deliver good quality work, then I need to put the effort in to keep improving as a writer.
What book did you first buy with your own money and do you still have it?
I think it must have been a Sweet Valley High. I can't remember for sure, but I know they were the first books I got addicted to as a young teen. I gave them all away - WHY I am still not sure :)
If you could write about any subject that is near and dear to your
heart, what would it be and why?
I like writing stories that examine human nature and how upbringing and experiences can affect someone's behaviour. Anything that touches on human emotion is right up my alley. All my books have a strong relational element so I already feel like I'm writing what's near and dear to my heart.
I do have a few stories that I am very much looking forward to writing at some point, but I've never worked on a project that I haven't been passionate about :)
Who are your absolute favourite authors and what would you do if they read & loved your book?
Francine Rivers, Dee Henderson and Simone Elkeles are my standard answer. I love all their work.
If they read and loved my stuff, I'd be on cloud nine. What a huge compliment that would be to hear positive feedback from people who have inspired me so much.
Fingers crossed it will happen one day :)
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who park badly - taking up two spaces when they could easily fit into one. I just think it's so rude. It really bugs me!
I love good food, so I have quite a few favourites.
Interestingly enough, the one that's popping into my head right now is a gourment chicken burger. There's a place in Auckland that does this amazing one with blue cheese dressing, bacon, avacado, chicken and salad. Man - it is so good!
And they go gluten free buns too, which is just the best because I can't eat gluten.
Dessert wise - I love to finish off with something creamy like cheesecake, creme brulee or a lemon mousse :)
Favorite Drink (alcoholic/non-alcoholic)?
Freshly squeezed orange juice with lots of pulp. There's a super yummy one in the States. I can't get in China or NZ :(
A nice, thick vanilla shake always goes down well too :)
All time favorite movie?
Too many to choose from. I love everything from action to comedy, thriller to romance. The only thing I want touch is horror.
Best book to movie adaption?
Probably The Notebook. I preferred the movie so much more than the book. Same with The Lord of the Rings.
Worst book to movie adaption?
Because I'm such a movie fan, I actually love books being made into movies and most of the time, they do okay.
One movie I was disappointed with though was "My Sister's Keeper." I was expecting one thing and got something else. I thought they should have stuck more closer to the book.
Thankyou Melissa for being so kind and answering all my questions, Now onto my review, x x
Author: Melissa Pearl
This review may contain spoilers
I was given this ARC by the author for an honest review
Summary: Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.
Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.
Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?
Wow, I am in awe of Melissa Pearl right now, this story is beyond words, it has got to be my favourite read of 2012, I was so engrossed in the book, I literally never put it down, I really don’t do ghosty stories but hell I loved this storyline, it was different, unusual, I have never come across a storyline like it before, The fact that Nicole could only be heard by Dale was just perfect, he has had troubles of his own, so for him to do something good was brilliant and a perfect way to prove himself to anyone else in the town, especially the sheriff, for her to be between death & life and Dale is the only one who can hear her is just brilliant especially as she was mean to him earlier, he still really liked her, because he knows that is not the real Nicole, she isn’t really that nasty, something made her that way and it’s lucky that he does think that, I adored that Nicole gets to meet her sister again, even if it was just a brief meeting, at least she got to say Sorry, I hope we all get that chance to apologise to someone we did wrong to in the afterlife, I laughed and I cried, I love that in a book, I am glad that Nicole sees the error of her ways, I felt Sorry for Adam, can’t say anymore as it would give too much away, I can’t wait for this book to come out in print, I will be getting myself a copy as I have a fave shelf which houses my favourite reads and this is definitely going on it, I can only give 5/5 even though I really wanted to give it more, highly recommend to everyone.
Buy links & Where to find Melissa